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Why we do it

The Scouts carry out an annual census to create a detailed picture of the young people and adults that make up our membership. Knowing who our members are helps to better inform and deliver the support and services provided to meet the needs of our members.

The census figures also provide information regarding the payment of the national membership fee for youth members and associated levies at various levels of the movement.

Key dates

  • Mid-January: passwords are sent out to members.
  • 21 January: census site opens.
  • 31 January: official census date. 
  • 21 February: census site closes; all data must have been submitted and approved at all levels up to County.

Approval of figures won’t be able to be undertaken until 31 January, and it’s common for local Districts, Counties, Areas and Regions to set cascading completion deadlines in advance of the closure date, so please check locally.

Last year's information

Some details taken from last year’s returns will be included on the census pages. This has been done to help make the form easier to complete. These details will be editable if you need to change any of these pre-filled items.

Getting more help

We have written a guide for each of the main census return types, and we have updated our FAQs, but if you need more help, please get in touch with Scout Information Centre by phone on 0345 300 1818 or 020 8433 7100, by email on, or you can use Live Chat on our website.

Ethnicity & disabilities form

This has been updated and is available from the census downloads page.

Getting started

If you have never done the census before or want to prepare for it we suggest you look through the return guides below first. You can also access our FAQs, help for approvers, and the census system itself.


Get Started

Access the census system itself, start entering your data or approving census returns.

Complete the census


Regular questions that pop up about the census systems, and why we ask some of the questions that we do.

Read FAQs

Approving Returns

Additional information for people who approve census returns.

Read more

Census Downloads

Downloads that may help you in completing the census process.

View downloads

Youth Sections

A guide for those who fill in the census for Beaver Colonies, Cub Packs, Scout Troops, Explorer, Young Leader & Network Units.

Read more


A guide for those who fill in the census for Scout Groups.

Read more

Explorer Provision

A guide for DESC's and anyone who manages Explorer Provision in a District.

Read more

Active Support

A guide for those who complete the census for Active Support Units.

Read more


A guide for those who complete the census for Districts.

Read more

Counties, Areas & Regions

A guide for those who complete the census for Counties, Areas and Scottish Regions.

Read more